• Bernice Cooke

Do Old Buildings have Souls?

Updated: Sep 27, 2018

I never really liked history in school, I found it very boring, it is only as I got older and a bit more mature that I began to appreciate it, particularly old buildings.

The question I always wanted to know is, do old buildings have souls?

Can stone trap past memories?

You know that feeling you get when you walk into an old building, you can picture it in your mind's eye of how it would have been back in the day.

Portumna Castle, Portumna, Co. Galway.

A snapshot of history and of how our ancestors would've lived. I live in an old cottage, built over 100 years ago, of stone and I find it very comforting to know that people occupied the same living space as me, all those years ago.

I'm sure there were happy occasions, sad occasions, parties, births, sicknesses, and deaths, what would the walls tell me if they could talk? Yes, I do believe the house I live in has a soul.

I am blessed in where I live that I am surrounded by old Irish buildings, from the extravagance of Portumna castle to the simple Kilconnell Friary to the battlefields of Aughrim.

You may ask what the hell has all this got to do with my business?? Well..... I believe that behind every fragrance, every candle scent and every perfume that there is a story, and during the course of my business I have been lucky enough/blessed to be able to visit historical places to create a bespoke fragrance and to paint/draw an image to match, this can only be done by researching history, paying a visit to the place in question and picking up different scents with my nose.

I love every part of my perfume journey, from taking lots of photos to scribbling down notes and observations of the different scents and smells I get when I visit a place.

Then its back to the studio where I experiment for hours with different notes to create a bespoke scent - providing a snapshot of memories gone by.

Not all fragrances happen overnight, some take day's and weeks to get correct, each sample I make I give to my trusted testers to guide me in my production process. Maybe someday and sometime in the future, I will also be a history.

My final note is a question for you - do you believe old buildings have a soul?

Kilconnell Friary, Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

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Killadulisk, Killimor, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway